By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The Chicago Rockford International Airport has risen in the rankings of the country’s top cargo airports for a fourth consecutive year.
RFD ranks as the 13th largest cargo airport in the United States for landed weight, according to preliminary results from the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2022 All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports report. Rockford passed Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta to move up one position from a year ago.
“RFD continues to grow and set new records for cargo because of our location, innovation, and strategic growth,” Mike Dunn, executive director of RFD, said in a news release. “RFD helps connect the world’s supply chains, and we look forward to continuing to identify and meet the needs of air cargo operators from around the globe.”
The Rockford airport ranked No. 14 in 2021, No. 17 in 2020 and No.19 in 2019.
“We’re thankful for our amazing team and the support from the Rockford region, as well as for the relationships we’ve formed with our state and Federal elected officials, and the FAA,” Dunn said.
The top-ranking cargo airport was Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska, which had more than 24.2 billion pounds of cargo landed. Rockford had more than 3.4 billion pounds, an increase of about a half-percent from 2021, according to preliminary FAA records.
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Airport officials say the ongoing cargo expansion has allowed it to become a Midwest hub for e-commerce and international freight. RFD is home to the second-largest UPS hub in North America, and it’s a major base of operations for Amazon Air.
The Rockford airport also serves multiple international airlines and freight forwarders, including DB Schenker, DSV, Senator International, ABX Air, ATI, National Airlines, Air Atlanta Icelandic, Amerijet and Atlas Air.
Menzies Aviation, the world’s largest aviation services provider, will be fully operational at RFD next month.
“With Emery Air already on site, and Menzies coming on board, we’re able to offer robust solutions to air cargo operators, helping them not only with the services they need once on the ground, but also with addressing their sustainability goals,” Dunn said.